By: Tom DotyTimes Columnist
February 21, 2013
“Argo” — Ben Affleck directed this amazing drama that also happens to be the totally true account of how a group of Americans were able to escape from Iran during the hostage crisis, back during Jimmy Carter’s administration. The story follows how the CIA was able to effect the escape of a handful of government workers who find shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. They achieve this in Hollywood fashion, by enlisting the aid of Hollywood producers to fabricate a science fiction film and disguise the staff as members of the film’s production team. The best scenes take place in Hollywood, where John Goodman and Alan Arkin appear as producers who help sell the sham. Lots of fun and Affleck’s best film yet — and that’s saying something after “Gone Baby Gone.”
“Game of Thrones: Season 2” — HBO continued its adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy opus about kingdoms fighting for full control while a devastating winter approaches. This time you get a few epic battles as hostilities begin. The story is rife with politics, backstabbing and sex. Just like real politics. The best bits involve Peter Dinklage as Tyrion, a power-behind-the-throne kind of guy who winds up having to lead seasoned troops into his first battle.
“Sinister” — Lots of scares highlight this slow-burning horror flick. It stars Ethan Hawke as a crime writer who brashly moves his unknowing family into a home where a horrific murder occurred. He soon becomes aware of an evil presence in the home, which may be responsible for a rash of slayings. The scares triple when this presence becomes aware of him.
“Factory” — A serial killer kidnaps the daughter of a tough cop in this horror/action yarn. The stunt casting of John Cusack as the cop kept my interest, but the story is a little familiar. Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”) is also good as Cusack’s partner.